Sunday, March 16, 2014

Out of Sequence...

It has come to my attention, that this blog has been neglected.

 Last Fall:

We built a raised area in the pilot house, and hung bead board under the front windows, and built a helm station.
Jim Bircher built an adapter for us to go from the diameter of the wooden wheels hub, to the hydraulic steering pump.  We wanted everything strong, so it has a shoulder and pillow block bearing support with a variety of shaft collars.  Steering stations shouldn't move.


Sanding work continues...

We are now to the putty stage.  When working in the timber stage, pictures don't really show that anything happens until the fiberglass goes on.  With putty and paint, everything looks like things happen faster.

The Pink stuff is Awlgrip Awlfair.  It is an epoxy based fairing filler, that will hide the weave of the fiberglass cloth.  The plan is to take it to 80 grit finish, let everything sit for 2 weeks and then paint with Interlux Bilgecote.  It is a polyester enamel that is designed and intended for engine rooms and bilges.  It doesn't always like fresh epoxy... hence the waiting period.  We'll then slide the engines back into place and fiberglass the runners where they are sitting, and blend everything together. 

  The two engines that are still in the engine room with us while the work is going on. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 2014

Februrary was a rough month to do much...  Snow storm after snow storm, and for some reason every one hit during the work week.  We've had some electrical issues and lost one leg of our 240 on the dock as well... minor set backs, but progress goes on. 

We finished building the engine bedding up to its full size, fiberglassed, sanded, and begun applying fairing putty.  What you don't see are the 60 1/2 inch stainless allthread rods through bolted inside every other frame bay.  The polka-dots on the top surface show their location.  We had to laminate this whole area without the use of screws, on account of the angle required to be cut to receive the engines.  Pictures before fiberglassing are on the other camera...  Soon!  I wanted to capture this stage, before everything is slick and shiny. 

This is what 1200 board feet of Douglass fir, and 15 gallons of epoxy looks like.  We will finish painting the engine bedding, move the engines back in their position and then do the same work to the area they are currently setting.  The salt treated 6x6's they are sitting on will be removed.  The glass overlays them. 

I left the bucket in place, to show scale... It's a gallon and a half bucket.  I kid... it is a 5 gallon. The engine bedding is made of full width 2x6's laminated one after the next 14 inches tall at the thickest and tabbed into the floor timbers as well as bulkheads.  It is 20 feet from where I am standing to the second bulkhead (wall) you see. 

We widened the opening, so that we can pull the fuel tanks forward.  The tanks are sitting in the position that the 1960's vintage were when we replaced them.  We ran the figures.  The center of gravity of the boat is 7 feet ahead of the engines.  The original tanks from 1942 were forward of the engine room bulkhead, in what is now the master stateroom.  The closer to her C.G. we can get the fuel tanks, the more she will take the weight without rotating her stern down.  The thought process:  The more parallel we can keep the waterline to the bottom of the boat, the lower the skin friction will be... the lower the fuel burn!    Strange world where the location of your fuel tanks impacts your fuel economy. 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 2014

Since the last update, we've moved work back into the engine room.  There hasn't been much to look at, or get a camera to focus on until now...  Mainly dust! 

The original steel engine bedding needed to be removed, for the last few frames and floor timbers to be replaced directly under the engine.  We decided not to cut a hole in the roof, and deck, and not to hire a crane to pull the engines out of the boat.  So, we moved them.  (That sounded so simple...)  

In order to do that, we built enough structure in the deck to carry the 3,500lb engines, hoisted them up and built a flat area ahead of them.  This involved carting some 18 foot long 6x6's down the dock, and through bolting eye bolts and backing plates above the engines every few feet...  Along with a thousand board feet of douglass fir 2x6's in varying lengths to replace the engine bedding.  There is a fair bit going on in the upper cabin at the moment, watch your step!  Only one chain hoist was sacrificed... 

We also had to build the wooden engine bedding, ahead of the motors... before we moved them off the steel.  This involved leveling the floor frames, slotting them for 1x6's and then laminating up a stack of 6 on each side.  We then laid a 6x6 over the top of each of the 4 runners, and screwed a plywood scab to the sides.  That got capped off with an angle iron corner, that lined up perfectly with the top of the existing steel engine bedding.  (Our friend Danny kicked in a few pieces of angle iron so the pipe rollers had something smooth to roll on.  Thanks! )

We cut the engines loose, hoisted them in the air, and used a lever block to scoot them forward until they hung over onto the runners.  Once the pipe rollers started taking load, we were home free.  From there it was 5 foot pinch bars.  We made the runners dead level, and crossed strings to make sure the engines wouldn't make any drastic moves due to gravity.

This involved about a 2 week buildup, of making sure everything would go smoothly and deciding on the final plan of how the engine stringers were to be made and stitched together....  Seeing as the engines are now sitting, on the forward half of the engine stringers.... the 6X6's were set so we could work under them and tie the two pieces together.

Sleepless nights... 

After the move was over, a thousand pounds of steel came out of her, slowly.  We used side cut off wheels and metal cutting sawzalls, as oil soaked oak laid directly against the steel bedding.  This was a somewhat slow process, but a few days work rendered it a pile in the back of my pickup truck...  No torches to burn the boat down either!

After the steel was out, we removed the old floors and frames and cut the fasteners flush to the planks and started laying in strips of 3/16th thick douglass fir, 2 1/8th inches wide.  We've got epoxy laminating strip frames in place down to an art form.  It is a somewhat tedius process making the strips, as they need to be 14 feet long, and un-tapered.

Once the strips were laid, we began making more floor frames and floor timbers.  They don't grow trees the required 16 inches, by 2 1/8th wide any more.  So we laminated the floor frames too. 
We've got a novel way of doing it now, that involves a 3/4 plywood scab wrapped in mylar packing tape.  Once the pieces are buttered up with epoxy, we put the big bar clamps on the board...  Once they are tight, we screw the 3/4 plywood scabs to the face and that pulls all the pieces flush to the scab.  Works like magic...  No clamping cauls required, and no funny business with slipping clamps.  It also means that we can make quite a few at one time, as it no longer requires using the saw table top as a reference for a flat surface.

We are rebuilding the engine bedding out of Douglass fir, laminating it up as is done in the new Carolina sport fishing boats.  We can move at a quicker pace, without having to call in much outside labor.  The engine bedding will be built up, and then wrapped with 1/2 inch plywood, fiberglassed and painted before the engines move aft.

We'll also be moving the fuel tanks up ahead of the engines, as we noticed the shift in trim was fairly significant just moving the engines ahead 8 feet...  We liked the change, so bringing the tanks forward will trim the boat out flatter and make achieving level cabinetry in the top cabin a lot easier to compensate for fuel load!  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 2013

Not much happened in July this year...  Hot and rainy to do outside work.

August was much the same weather... though we spent the time working on getting the boat ready to move under her own power again.  We pulled in more Douglas fir for the engine room, and did an inventory of parts, pieces and general hardware that will be required. 

We built mounts for the navigation lights, and fiberglassed them into place.  They got the Snow White Awlgrip treatment with the intention that they can be taped off and non-skid painted around them when we spray the rest of the boat.

While we were spraying top coat, the inside of the front window frames were taped and sprayed. 

We've been in the midst of cleaning and organizing, making room in the "work shop" to put the steering helm and console back in place.  The lower pictures are some mock ups of the final design idea, where a center console holds the steering gear and allows the captain to step forward up to the window to see over the rails around the boat when docking, and have easier access to the front opening window.  Our friendly local glass shop is in the process of relocating, so the opening window is still opened with blue painters tape. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

June 2013

June...  Was the 19th wettest month in North Carolina's recorded history, which made it somewhat difficult to continue priming and painting the outside of Noel.

Nevertheless we continued on, pulling fillets and sanding.  The early part of the month was spent long board sanding, and finishing up fillets.  We sprayed two coats of sprayable fairing compound long board sanding in between each, a higher grit each time. 

When the time came for the Awlquick priming, we taped up the underside of the roof overhang and rear posts and did the whole job in one shot.  This is always exciting for everyone "close to the boat" as you feel like the most has happened in one day, and all the work done in preparation is shown.  While the primer is wet, you can see a wet reflection just like how it will lay when top coated and makes all the sanding worth while.

We are now starting on the center section of the stern deck roof, and will be wiring it for a stern navigation light, speakers, and recessed lights... and then a plywood skin put over it, primed and painted.  We aim to keep this area removable for future maintenance of davits and hardware for dinghy and jet ski mounts, hence saving it for last.  We are using 5 foot by 10 foot plywood, so the only seams over the 9 foot 6 overhang will be running along the length of the boat.

Our fiberboard window mold warped, from the high humidity of being an extraordinary wet month... so we await a replacement, and the promise of windows in the sides of her cabin.

All for now,


Friday, June 7, 2013

May...  Was a tough month to work outside, with showers that were deferred from April.

We faired the starboard cabin wall, to give a fair line at the inside fillet of the new roof overhang and ready the wall for windows.

On rainy days we were in the engine room, continuing to build floor frames and readying the engines to move forward.  

This has involved battens, long sticks that bend into smooth curves without lumps and bumps.  One prized batten made of fir and one 18 foot aluminum 1x1 box tube.  We use straight edges to determine that the surface is in the same plane top to bottom, and once we have true reference points top to bottom the battens are held against the curve of the cabin, at those intervals. 

Once we had a consistent surface, we mark and sand down the high spots.  Then we mark and fill the low spots with Awlgrip Awlfair. 

Once the batten lays in nicely, we then sprayed 4 gallons of Awlgrips Sprayable fairing compound over the wall and longboarded the surface true with long boards.  These boards make a crossing pattern, held horizontal but pushed at 45 degree angles from the top of the panel to the bottom. 

Once we had a smooth surface top to bottom, we boosted the radius below the framed window openings to full meet the batten with another dab of Awlfair fairing compound.   

Once we were happy with the wall, the top and bottom fillets were pulled in place, and sanded. 

The wall is now awaiting the forward doorway to be cut, and another coat of Sprayable Fairing Compound that will make the surface all one product, so the hardness of the underlying substrate does not impact the surface finish.  Sanding something soft, beside something yard yeilds a "Holiday" or halo shaped low spot that bends light in the reflection on the finished surface. 

After tropical storm Andrea makes her way through, perhaps we will get a good day with low wind to spray the next coat... and get some new pictures!